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  • Writer's pictureFire By Design

Hallo from Holland!

Updated: May 15

At a very very stupidly early time my alarm clock went off, waking me after only  3 hours of sleep, to begin a marathon day.

It was 1:40am on Thursday 17th May. I was due to leave the house at 2:30 to meet with Chris in Wimborne at 3am. The drive to Wimborne was unsurprisingly quiet and arriving bang on 3am a very sleepy Chris appeared from his house, also ready to have a ridiculously long day.

We were headed to Bristol Airport where we were to meet with fellow crazy people to catch a flight to Holland to visit Dru Fires. Landing in Schiphol Airport just before 9am Holland time ( 1 hour ahead ) we meet up with around 35 others, who we would be spending the next 2 days with.

We were visiting Dru Fires, this trip was arranged for all new Dru dealers. To welcome us to the brand, go over company core values and discuss advertising and marketing etc. these types of things normally mean a lot of waiting around, especially when there is such a large group. But everything was managed well and we were soon on the road.

Upon arrival, to Duiven, our hotel Van Der Valk Hotel – Check out the hotel here! This stunningly contemporary high rise, was the tallest building for miles and was such a beautiful hotel palatial even, with its art deco interior, pool and spa this place is a must if you are touring Holland, we discovered we were a little early to check in, however we were able to leave our bags and then walk over to the Dru Factory just a short 5 mins walk from the hotel.

After a quick welcome and showroom visit we were then having a delicious buffet lunch, with a various platter of cold meats and salad. We then went in to the Classroom to get to grips with the History of Dru.

The afternoon session went by quickly and luckily I didn’t fall asleep.. I think that this had something to do with the amount of Coffee available on the table. The topic this afternoon was the history of Dru and I was surprised to discover the History the company had had. I always love to know, where the company has been and how it got to where it is now, Dru has certainly had a colourful history and has supported many throughout the years.

We then all headed back to the Hotel for a little rest, before being ready to head out for Dinner. Unfortunately I did not make it to the pool and I knew that if I had slept I would have been feeling a lot worse for dinner, So I went to my room, put on the TV and Face-timed the Kids, before meeting in the Hotel foyer to all pile on a coach for Dinner.

Dinner was a simple affair at a delightful small restaurant, Unfortunately I did not get the name, but it was a treat. We had a shared starter followed by the choice of Mixed Grill, Steak, Salmon for main, ending with a delicious range of Chocolate desserts, I went for the steak and what a delicious piece of beef it was. ( I won’t go into the food too much as this is not a food blog ). After dinner was completed and some had had a few more lemonades than possibly required we all jumped ( some fell ) onto the coach back to the hotel. Almost everyone then headed back to the hotel bar I was able to escape after just a couple of drinks and left many to it… these people were evident in the Restaurant at breakfast the following morning.

All were to be up , eaten breakfast and checked out by 8:45am. Very slowly members from our group emerged, some looking fresh as a daisy after such a lovely sleep in the very comfortable beds and some were a little rough round the edges.

This was the time that we all needed to be on and engaged as the morning was to be filled with, Factory Tours, Visit to R&D, a talk from the Marketing Manger and sales reps. By the time the next showroom tour began we were all a little over whelmed by the information provided, so a walk around the products to get to know what they can do, how they are manufactured and what this means for our customers was a welcome change. Many of the display models are items I hadn’t seen before, but some we have on display in our showroom, but not live so it was great to see the flame pattern, We also took the opportunity to get a little more information on the Spartherm products as we have only 1 model in the showroom and would possibly like to see a few more of them arriving soon. We were able to go over the likes and dislikes of the products, Dealer trips are great ways to discover from others any installation nightmares, but I can honestly say that nothing too scary arrised and I have a new confidence in these.

Not only were we able to look at Dru but there are three other links to the Dru Family  – Dik Guerts, now we are not dealers for these wood burner products as there is another locally to us, but is was great to see the products available in the range. Spartherm – one of our brands and are hoping to get some more of these on display in the showroom too and the very exciting Ebios – Bio ethional fires ( more to come on this soon).

After this was completed we were all to return to the coach to head to Amsterdam a 1.5 – 2hour drive from Duiven. I had never been to Amsterdam and was unsure what to expect. We were to go on a very pleasant canal trip with our lovely guide ran by The blue boat company – Check them out here . Amsterdam really is a beautiful city, with is wonky houses and colourful history. Once this was over we were then free to wander. Chris and I decided to go walking, some just headed to the nearest bar, but we really needed to stretch our legs and I am glad we did. We all met back at the coach at 6pm ready to head back to the Airport. Our flight was due to leave at 9:55pm (8:55 uk time ) but there were delays, so our plane finally took off at 10:25pm so we arrived back in bristol at around 10:35. I finally got home at 1am and was ready for a shower and some sleep.

Thank you to Dru fires for the opportunity. After a day or two to process the information they gave us and to unwind it finally sinks in and the desire to sell these products and market them correctly is in the forefront of my mind. I know them and understand them now, There is always a lot more to learn but Chris and I felt like we had definitely taken some important information away with us!

Below is a few pictures of our trip!

Until next time

N x

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